When we first began lessons together, she was really stiff and awkward. She couldn't read a note and she had no idea about theory. We began by getting to know each other and the keyboard. The first thing I sensed in her was the need to create so I encouraged her to write a song each week. At first, she was anxious and unsure of herself but I showed her that it didn't need to be something monumental. Just something that she had created on the piano herself.
Every lesson since then, she has had a tune. And as the weeks pass by, the songs grow to be more complicated and beautiful. She is writing stuff that usually only comes from people with years of experience on the piano. Today, her song ranged around four octaves and she wrote the name of every single note she played out on paper. (Next week, we begin to learn about notating. ;-)) And when she plays, she leaves all of her insecurities behind. It's beautiful watching her. It makes me feel so happy and proud... sometimes I just feel like shedding a few tears. Happy to have a little part in this... proud of a girl who loves music and allows herself to be set free by it.
Today, she arrived at our lesson bearing an extra book. She had begun learning a song by herself out of it. Why is this impressive? Well, she's only just begun reading notes... like two weeks ago. These notes are hitting a couple of octaves out of her comfort zone. But she is determined to learn to sight read because I told her it was important. So she is. I have no idea how some teachers would feel about this but I am completely thrilled. I can correct mistakes. I can guide. I can help her. But I can't force creative juices to flow. And I sure can't force determination and happiness.
One of the reasons I am feel so blessed and excited to have Lee-Amber as a student is because she is blessed with the gift of ADHD. I do consider it a gift. She has a unique outlook on life... and it is part of how she understands music. Music was something her mother was just going to try to interest her in. It's gone beyond an interest. She is finding a way to express herself and her feelings about life.. as I said before, this is freedom for her. A place that she doesn't have to worry about people understanding her or liking her. Music is her friend and will always be.
And then, there's J. I love J. She inspires me. Mother of three, the youngest being three. Works at a daycare. Has a hubby and house to care for. Lives on the reserve. First Nation. She's always cheerful and kind and so willing to learn. And not only that, she is completely thrilled when she learns something new. :smile: :smile: :smile: Yeah. It makes me happy. ;-) Today, when she came she said that she hadn't found the plug-in for her keyboard, so she was practicing without sound. The surprising thing is that, in spite of this, she had improved over the course of the week. She is so happy to be learning. The fact that she feels she's progressing makes any effort and money worthwhile. :-)
I find my joy of these two students very different and yet, so much the same. Different because Lee-Amber's progress is so fast and furious and freeing... while J's is a more complacent pace with lots of contentment and peace. But it is the same because the joy that radiates from both make my heart want to dance from pure happiness. Why is watching people enjoy learning so much fun??? :-D
So now you know part of my happy day. :-) The other parts were mixed up and as pleasant. I sat at my piano for several hours. I studied driver's ed for quite awhile. When ever I stand up or sit down, I groan from a little stiffness in my body (courtesy of cleaning refrigerator). ;-) I wrote a review about one of my favorite movies for Ponderings (Twelfth Night --1996). I did a lot of praying and realizing. :-) I ate (my teeth are feeling so much better!), drank (orange juice) and was merry (or will be with the coming film). Next, my cold toes will be getting warm due to a shower. :-) :-) So I bid you all a fond adieu and a pleasant good evening. :-)